Equinor enters into a huge renewable energy contract in the United States

Equinor Energy offices pictured in Norway on February 6, 2019.

Odin Jaeger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Norway’s Equinor has won a major contract to provide renewable energy to New York state from two huge offshore wind farms located in waters off the east coast.

In an announcement Wednesday, the company said it was the largest offshore wind deal ever awarded in the US – and also “one of the largest purchases of renewable energy in the US to date.”

Under the terms of the deal, Equinor and its partner BP will supply New York with renewable energy from the Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 projects.

The two companies will also work with New York to develop the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and Albany Port into what Equinor has described as “large-scale wind-powered industrial facilities.”

Last year, BP agreed to acquire 50% stakes in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects from Equinor, in a deal slated to close in the first part of 2021.

The Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 projects will have a capacity of 1,260 and 1,230 megawatts (MW), respectively. The contract announced on Wednesday will complete another power agreement from the Empire Wind 1 project with a capacity of 816 MW. Capacity refers to the maximum amount a facility can produce, not what it is currently generating.

When fully completed, Equinor says the overall Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects will be able to power more than 1 million homes.

In a statement, Equinor CEO Anders Opedal described the US east coast as “one of the most attractive growth markets for offshore winds in the world”.

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While it may have potential, the United States is still a bit far from matching other parts of the world when it comes to size.

The country’s first offshore wind farm – Block Island’s 30-megawatt five-turbine wind farm, operated by the Danish company Orsted – only began commercial operations at the end of 2016.

In comparison, Europe is home to a number of mega offshore wind projects. Last November, Orsted announced that the 752 MW Borssele 1 & 2 Naval Facility was fully operational, claiming it was capable of Providing enough electricity to run one million households.

In plans towards the end of last year, the European Union has said it wants offshore wind power To reach 300 gigawatts by mid-century.

As Equinor and BP try to develop more renewable energy projects, they remain major players in the oil and gas sector.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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